Let’s be honest – pay TV service is becoming more complicated. As TV providers add features to make their services more cutting edge and valuable, such as TV Everywhere, app integration and interactivity, they may find some consumers feeling a bit daunted, especially those who are not digital natives. For instance, Mintel’s Marketing to Baby Boomers report found one quarter of Baby Boomers agreed that new technology can be intimidating. Therefore, as pay TV becomes more sophisticated, providers face the challenge of educating both prospects and customers. Comcast is one provider that is experimenting with ways to break down the barriers that would prevent its customers from enjoying the many features of its X1 platform by offering different types of in-person education.

Bringing education directly to consumers

xfinityIn October, Mintel Comperemedia captured an unusual offer mailed by Comcast to residents in Framingham, Mass. The piece promoted a 15-minute in-home X1 product demo and offered recipients a $50 prepaid Visa card in exchange for their time. The mailer was sent to prospects, rather than existing customers, allowing Comcast to lead with in-person interaction and education as an entry point to the service. The incentive is sweet, but convenience is what really sets this offer apart. The ability to see the product in one’s own home differentiated Comcast’s strategy from the more typical in-person technology demos requiring consumers to go to a specific location to learn about a new product or service.

If you’ve traveled through the Philadelphia International Airport recently, you might have encountered another noteworthy educational opportunity offered by Comcast via the company’s Xfinity-on-the-Fly lounge. This area, featuring comfy chairs, outlets for recharging devices and Xfinity WiFi, offers more than a spot to relax. For Comcast customers, it’s also a place to learn how to download TV shows, movies or DVR’ed content to take with you on your flight. That’s right, if you’ve got Xfinity TV, a customer service rep will walk you through the process of using the Xfinity’s TV Everywhere service and get you set up for your flight ahead.

According to the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing, 54% of consumers who do not use TV Everywhere say that they don’t understand it.  So, even though the capability is included at no extra charge to qualifying TV subscribers, many find it too confusing to use. With Xfinity on the Fly, Comcast smartly engages its customers at a time when their interest in TV on-the-go is likely to be heightened (haven’t we all tried to plan ahead to make sure we weren’t bored on a long flight?) and provides the hands-on instruction necessary for many consumers to start taking advantage of the service.

What we think

These opportunities are particularly important for Comcast, which has been working hard to overhaul its customer service and improve its once dismal customer satisfaction ratings (and according to the most recent American Customer Satisfaction Index, these efforts are moving the needle). These new instructional offerings from Comcast are likely to help further boost customer satisfaction by teaching existing and future customers how to enjoy the many different features included with X1 service through meaningful in-person interactions with the brand.

Face-to-face interactions have an important place in an increasingly digital culture.

Face-to-face interactions have an important place in an increasingly digital culture. In fact, it’s the hyper-emphasis on digital that has led consumers to look to brands for meaningful offline interaction, as identified in the Mintel Trend Experience is All. As much as consumers value speed and convenience, they also appreciate meaningful human interaction. Brands can really resonate with consumers when they combine speed and convenience with a human touch.

Emily Groch is Mintel Comperemedia’s Director of Insights, Telecommunications. She provides omni-channel marketing analysis and competitive insights to wireless, TV, internet, over-the-top, and home security service providers across the US and Canada.

 

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